Where to Start finding your family tree.

Where Do I Start

Work backwards from yourself slowly, from the known to the unknown, verifying and documenting your information, and if possible, from more than one source. If you do not do this you may end up following someone else’s family line, wasting money and time.

The key family documents for doing a family history are the Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates which are the legal documents for these events.

Be prepared to spend money in purchasing full copies of the key birth, death or marriage certificates of yourfamily line. It is false economy to try to research your family history without referring to your correct key primary documents.

Talk to family members and take notes of the information you are told, but remember you will need to verify it all.

Remember there is no such thing as a ‘correct’ way to spell a particular Family or Surname, or indeed even Christian or Given names, and over a life time a person’s name may be spelt and recorded in many ways by the person themselves, or by others. Always check various possible spellings when looking for your ancestors.

Also note there can be persons of the same Surname, Christian Name, and of the approximate age living in the same place and at the same time. They may, or may not be related in some way. This can be particularly so if the Surname is rather ‘common’, for example Smith or Jones etc.

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